Human Herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) Blood Test, DNA, PCR
The Human Herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), DNA PCR Test helps confirm the diagnosis of an HHV-6 infection.
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this Human Herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), DNA PCR Test to confirm the diagnosis of an HHV-6 infection. HHV-6 is a herpesvirus that falls under the herpesvirus family, and it is characterized by two subtypes - HHV-6A and HHV-6B. Notably, HHV-6B is the subtype that affects most children, with estimates indicating that 90% of children in the United States acquire HHV-6 infections by age 2. Conversely, the impact of HHV-6A on human health remains unclear. HHV-6, like other human herpesviruses, can become dormant after the initial infection and can reactivate in later life. Other members of the herpes family include Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), varicella-zoster virus (VZV), HHV-7, and the herpes simplex viruses (HSV-1 and HSV-2).
HHV-6 is usually spread through saliva from person to person, and there is no vaccine to prevent it. The most effective way to avoid getting HHV-6 infections is by maintaining good hygiene, including frequent handwashing.
For transplant patients, HHV-6 can become active again and cause symptoms. Research has indicated that HHV-6 is linked to bone marrow suppression after transplantation. This can result in anemia, decreased immunity, and bleeding due to low levels of white blood cells and platelets, leading to fatigue.
When should I order a Human Herpesvirus (HHV-6), DNA PCR Test?
Individuals may order this test if they have experienced symptoms related to HHV-6 infection. Common symptoms HHV-6 causes include:
- Runny nose
HHV-6 can also cause symptoms known as roseola infantum, commonly referred to as exanthem subitum or just roseola. This condition affects 20-30% of HHV-6 infections and typically occurs in children between 6 months and two years old. Roseola is characterized by a high fever lasting 3-5 days and a rash that starts on the body and spreads.
In rare cases, HHV-6 infections can result in severe inflammation of the lining around the brain (meningitis) and the brain itself (encephalitis). These conditions can be life-threatening and require hospitalization and treatment. Individuals with weakened immune systems, cancer, and transplant recipients are more at risk for these severe infections.
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